Monday, June 10, 2019

Pressing On


(This is a five minute blog post.)


    We are hosting a home group Bible study at our house. If you have the gift of hospitality the following will probably not apply to you, however, I don't. Therefore, when someone new is coming to my house it is like the scales fall from my eyes and all I can see is every.little.wrong.thing. In stereo surround. Full color. Imax version.

    It's not fun. As I surveyed my un-mown yard this evening I reflected: I am far from perfect. You don't even have to look hard to see all the areas I can improve in, not the least is my less-than-persnickety housekeeping style. And my home is not the only area that could use a helping hand in the tasks to be accomplished department.

    Because just like with my home, my character could use some upgrades, too. I need some routine maintenance, but some things just need a straight up trip to the dump and total renovation. Just like my kitchen floor, there are more things that need replacing than I should keep.

    And I often think about how the world tells us that just makes us "real". Don't worry about those "imperfections"-they're part of your "charm"! You're not rude, you're "outspoken". You're not angry, you're "passionate." That we should tout our flaws like badges of honor. "You're doing the best you can." "Messy hair, don't care." "You do you."  The art of bragging about our shortcomings, and failings, curating an attitude of disdain for anyone striving to do better. To be better is viewed as a haughty "fakeness".

    But what does the Bible say?

    "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14 NIV

"[Jesus said] Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matthew 5:48 NIV 1984


   Yikes. Later in the same chapter of Philippians, Paul talks about unbelievers whose "glory is in their shame." What does it say when I am delighting in being a "hot mess momma"? Perhaps that my priorities are a little askew. It is equally as wrong to strive for worldly "perfection", but I should focus on daily "pressing on" to become more Christ-like. I should lean into the work that must be done in my heart and mind, I can never rest in anything less than looking and acting as my Savior would. Yes, He has given, and will continue to give, grace upon grace to us, but I can't use that as an excuse to revel in my shortcomings. Rather than seeing the places my home doesn't meet those HGTV standards, I should turn that laser focus to my heart. The best part about that type of self-improvement though? I'm never doing the work on my own.

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."

"And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."

"[B]eing confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:14, 4:19, 1:6 NIV 1984

And that's just what Paul has to say about it!

"Father, help me to trust that you will continue to give me what I need to look more like You, including the ability to resist the temptation to laud my laziness and applaud ambivalence and mediocrity. Thank you for promising me that You will carry on the good work Christ started in my heart."

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